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January 29, 2020, 04:42:25 am

Author Topic: 50 in English, available for queries :)  (Read 213115 times)  Share 

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M_BONG

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2014, 07:04:16 pm »
0
Do you have a guide to language analysis?

How are you actually meant to analyse a piece? Is there like an actual breakdown?

I was taught to Identify, Explain purpose and effect. But when I do that, I tend to summarise rather than "analyse" (plenty of people have told me this).

What is the best way to analyse not summarise?


Also, if an idea is not explicitly or implicitly stated in the article can you suggest it? Are you commenting on what the author is making, from any point of view or from an average, reasonable person's perspective? Also, how do you avoid sounding far-fetched?

Sorry for bombarding you with such a long list of questions!



literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2014, 10:33:49 pm »
+18
Glad you asked! L.A. ATTACHMENT HERE!!!
There is no "actual breakdown", but I'll attach a sheet I wrote up for my preferred structure.
A common approach to body paragraphs is the approach you mentioned: Identify techniques, explain effects, and link to contention/ purpose. (TEE to some schools, or other acronym)
The best way to avoid summary is through the structure of your essay. As I've said before, grouping by key players is my recommendation, but experiment a bit in case something else works better for you. If the central concern of each paragraph is how the author has treated the players in the issue, you will have to keep coming back to how these effects are persuasive. I had a bit of an issue with lapsing into summary, particularly with quoting, and what I found helpful was to continuously ask in my head:
what does the author want us to think or feel about the players, and how do I know this?

If you want to post an example of your work I'd be happy to give more specific advice.
You can comment on inferences (meaning what you interpret) as opposed to implications (what the author intends, without stating explicitly). Remember to comment on how the author is conveying this, then move to what effect the inferences we make have on the debate. Just don't get too far removed from the debate. Your role is not to comment on what the author does, but rather how and for what purpose. Keep relating things back to your audience through the TEE format if you're ever in doubt.
I don't quite know what you mean about "sounding far-fetched." You can comment on a technique from a variety of audience angles (eg. 'Children would be influenced by this colloquial language, but adults are likely to see it as pandering and unconvincing'.) If you could give me an example of what you mean I might be able to help more.
Just don't do what I did in year 7: "Unintelligent people might be persuaded by this, as would people who either don't pay attention to the news or can't read." I was a bright spark.

Rod

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2014, 10:54:10 pm »
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Wow this is an awesome thread!

Lauren did you by any chance to The Quiet American for context, and the film All About Eve?
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literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2014, 12:01:17 am »
+8
Wow this is an awesome thread!

Lauren did you by any chance to The Quiet American for context, and the film All About Eve?

Thanks Rod  ;D
I didn't study either of those texts but I do have some notes on the Quiet American I can post up here later. I think that film might be a new addition since it wasn't on last year's paper.

M_BONG

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2014, 08:08:28 pm »
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Thanks for your tips on LA!
Could you post a sample analysis of yours? Or perhaps just a full body paragraph of analysis  because I learn best by example, not by a list of "to dos".


literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2014, 09:58:12 pm »
+15
L.A. ESSAY ATTACHED

Thanks for your tips on LA!
Could you post a sample analysis of yours? Or perhaps just a full body paragraph of analysis  because I learn best by example, not by a list of "to dos".
I've already posted my response to the 2011 exam, The Power of Ink article, but I'll put up another one here. This was for a CSE Exam (just one of the many companies that puts out practice papers every year.) I can't find a copy of the articles online, and I don't want to scan my copy lest I tangle myself in copyright violations etc. Suffice it to say the article was haranguing cyclists in an article called 'The New Bikie War' (my intro and 1st paragraph contextualises a bit) It also criticised the government's appeasing cyclists by adding numerous bike lanes on Melbourne roads. There was a visual with a bunch of cyclists spread across a road with the caption 'Four wheels good, two wheels better' (Orwell, anyone??) Then there were some assorted commentaries, as is often the case with VCAA/CSE et al. prescribed texts. This was a 10/10, though I probably focused too much on the images.. oh the woes of an under-appreciated art student  :-[

DJA

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2014, 10:58:21 pm »
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L.A. ESSAY ATTACHED

That was a beast language analysis. Thank you! :)
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IndefatigableLover

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2014, 11:09:23 pm »
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Hi Lauren :)

Just wanted to ask whether you referred to notes from study guides or from websites such as Sparknotes etc. for your texts and if so, how much?
I normally find myself browsing Sparknotes for some ideas before making my own notes on my text (sometimes incorporating those ideas into it) but is that a good idea?

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2014, 11:39:09 pm »
+12
That was a beast language analysis. Thank you! :)
why thank you kind sir...

Hi Lauren :)

Just wanted to ask whether you referred to notes from study guides or from websites such as Sparknotes etc. for your texts and if so, how much?
I normally find myself browsing Sparknotes for some ideas before making my own notes on my text (sometimes incorporating those ideas into it) but is that a good idea?

I perused through what little I could find on my texts over the summer holidays, and bookmarked a few good pages/topics to come back to once we'd started going through it in class. Study guides are excellent foundations, but they are by no means holistic. Your responses will have to go beyond what's on Sparknotes etc. if you're aiming for higher marks. Also, these resources are available to everyone in the state (with wifi) including the assessors. At the end of the year you might get a complete newbie who's blown away by your ability to spell the author's name correctly and refer to something as a theme, or you might get a cold cynical bastard, hardened by years of reading the same regurgitated info lifted directly from study guides or online resources.

Incorperating ideas is fine, and can even add another dimension to your writing (esp. for Text Response in terms of acknowledging alternate viewpoints) and at this stage of the year it's great that you're already contemplating these ideas. In fact browsing through this sort of stuff is a good background activity, ie. while watching tv or listening to music. Familiarise yourself with as much as you can, but ideally by exam time you'll be confident enough to move beyond the skeleton stuff provided by reference sites and into your own unique interpretations and approaches.

Rod

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2014, 03:41:41 pm »
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why thank you kind sir... (Image removed from quote.)

I perused through what little I could find on my texts over the summer holidays, and bookmarked a few good pages/topics to come back to once we'd started going through it in class. Study guides are excellent foundations, but they are by no means holistic. Your responses will have to go beyond what's on Sparknotes etc. if you're aiming for higher marks. Also, these resources are available to everyone in the state (with wifi) including the assessors. At the end of the year you might get a complete newbie who's blown away by your ability to spell the author's name correctly and refer to something as a theme, or you might get a cold cynical bastard, hardened by years of reading the same regurgitated info lifted directly from study guides or online resources.

Incorperating ideas is fine, and can even add another dimension to your writing (esp. for Text Response in terms of acknowledging alternate viewpoints) and at this stage of the year it's great that you're already contemplating these ideas. In fact browsing through this sort of stuff is a good background activity, ie. while watching tv or listening to music. Familiarise yourself with as much as you can, but ideally by exam time you'll be confident enough to move beyond the skeleton stuff provided by reference sites and into your own unique interpretations and approaches.
Hey Lauren!

So what should we do after reading our study guides? I also agree that ideas from study guides won't get us as much marks, as 65-70% of students would probably read them. And it would get boring for the assessors if they have to read the same idea over and over again!

So how did you come up with ideas in your text response that distinguished your essay from students who have just been referring to study guides?

Thanks :D
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literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2014, 02:19:07 pm »
+10
So what should we do after reading our study guides? I also agree that ideas from study guides won't get us as much marks, as 65-70% of students would probably read them. And it would get boring for the assessors if they have to read the same idea over and over again!

So how did you come up with ideas in your text response that distinguished your essay from students who have just been referring to study guides?

Assuming you've read the text once or twice (depending on length/ difficulty, novels are easy enough but Shakespeare or Dickens might require a refresher) try to push yourself further with your reading. Academic journals are always good, and there might even be some professionally written articles if you can find them. In terms of developing your own responses, keep asking questions until your brain hurts. Take a prompt like: ''Cosi' contends that some things are more important than politics.'
  • what is more important?
  • does that make politics unimportant
  • is this the case for everyone?
  • how do we know this?
  • is there anything in the text that partially/completely refutes this?
  • who are these 'things' important to?
  • was there once a time when politics was more important?
  • if so^ why did things change?
           etc etc.

Basically the who-what-when-where-how-why days of primary school come back to haunt you. For a prompt like this, the bulk of students will answer the question 'what is more important than politics?' and all 3/4 paragraphs will just be expounding upon this. What impresses assessors is when you approach the prompt from an angle (or angles, if you're feeling ambitious) they haven't seen a hundred times before, eg. 'Intimacy and closeness can be seen to take priority over bureaucracy and governance, but this was not always the case...' I haven't studied Cosi so I'm improvising here..
You don't have to answer all of these questions, and don't forget you still have to deal with the core of the prompt, but this is a surefire way to distinguish your writing; choosing something interesting to write about.
In all honesty, to stand out from students relying solely on what they've read before isn't exactly difficult. If you're in the mid to upper band of english marks you might find the general set of Sparknotes or other guides are so basic, you've essentially covered them just by thinking about the text or writing a couple of practice essays. Some notes are better than others, the Insight text guides are usually pretty good, but they are still have a relatively limited scope of ideas.

Apart from that, the quality of your ideas is closely linked with how well you can structure your response. For some students this means spending 10 minutes of writing time formulating a solid plan, whereas others will have two or three structures they are so familiar with, they can apply them to any type of prompt. Personally, I'd never spend longer than a minute planning, because I found I was uncovering new ideas as I was writing; I'd get to the 2nd paragraph and stumble upon a completely new idea that trumped whatever I was going to write next, and I'd shift my essay in that direction. That's why my intros were often quite noncommittal, because I never knew where I was going to end up. But I can understand the need for a 'safety net', in fact I'd still keep some structural guidelines up my sleeve in case I ever got in trouble (#henryIVprompt2013)

Ideas are the major deciding factor in your grade; writerly talent and impressive vocabulary might sway your score by one or two marks, but an essay with clever, original ideas and mediocre expression will trump a well-written piece of regurgitated irrelevant drivel any day of the week.

For now, I'd be focusing on knowing the content backwards. Start acquainting yourself with the most important quotes or scenes, and pin some up around the house. These's heaps of time for fine-tuning ideas throughout the year, it's not unusual for students to jump two or three grade points during swot-vac alone.

Einstein

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2014, 04:30:22 pm »
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How do you layer out your Intro, how do you start it? Any examples would be great :)

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2014, 04:32:38 pm »
+1
How do you layer out your Intro, how do you start it? Any examples would be great :)

Do you mean for Language Analyses, Text Responses or Context pieces?
Narrow it down for me :P

Einstein

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2014, 05:28:13 pm »
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sorry for that, i mean text response, if you could do context as well that would be great, thanks :)

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2014, 09:59:24 pm »
+13
sorry for that, i mean text response, if you could do context as well that would be great, thanks :)

no worries :)

These formulas worked as general rules for me, but build on them to find your own unique style. As with the above posts (building on the foundations of study guides & notes) relying solely on other people's methods will make your writing sound ..not your own. Sonds silly, but examiners notice. Use this as an outline and try to find your own format as the year goes on.
DISCLAIMER: THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT WRITE AN INTRO!
 
DO:
  • begin with a 'global sentence' which responds to the prompt, but does not summarise the whole essay. Just outline a brief stance
  • expand upon this,
  • try to challenge the prompt, particularly if asserts something is always true, or completely the fault of one character etc.
  • (this works best as either the first or last sentence of your intro:) make some acknowledgement of the text as a construct <-- this is a biggie, every year the assessor's report prattles on about this, and it's a key element of the study design. What this means is you should try to move beyond discussing the text on a purely character/thematic level; use sentences like 'Hamid{author}'s choice to portray Erica as a mercurial and flighty character forms a commentary on the characteristics he believes permeate factions of American society.' Simply put: you need to acknowledge that the characters aren't real people, they are devices used by the author for the sake of communicating a message. Certain prompt types will require different balances of in-text//out-of-text analysis. ie. For a question like: 'Scrooge's change of heart is a direct result of fear', very few out-of-text work will be needed, perhaps only a sentence or two in the intro/conclusion. But for a Views&Values type prompt (eg.'Owen's poems condemn those who encourage young men to go to war') you'll need to zoom out and deal with the text through the author or his audience
  • ensure that by the end of your essay, the reader will know what general direction you're headed in
  • remember VCAA are aware this is technically a first draft sort of piece, so if by the end of the essay you end up in a different place to where your intro was aiming, don't worry too much. So long as what you've written is relevant and plausible, they won't be too harsh. Writing essays that are vague enough to allow you room to explore, but specific enough not to sound formulaic... it's an art form I tells ya. You'll get used to it, don't worry
DON'T
  • summarise. I don't know why so many schools tell their students their intros should sum up their argument... you haven't written anything yet
  • try to cover all bases. You should have a rough idea of what you will cover in each paragraph, but don't feel you have to introduce every idea you want to address
  • provide biographic details of the author/ book unless it adds to your argument. You'll get no marks for knowing that the book was written in 1915, but you can mention the zeitgeist/WW1 era societal values, and how they are evidenced/challenge/refuted by the text
  • use the 1st person voice, ie. never include 'I' 'me' or 'in my essay'; the marker knows it's your opinion, you're writing it
  • be too rigid in setting up your arguments, avoid definitive words like 'always' and 'never'
  • be too flexible in setting up your arguments (lol I know) don't undercut yourself at every opportunity with phrases like 'some might see this as' or 'which seems to be representative of...' These are okay once in a while, but it might start to sound noncommittal. You want the assessor to think you're confident in your interpretation, but intelligent enough to acknowledge there are alternate readings of the text
  • make explicit signposts unless you are absolutely sure of your plan, there will always be core elements of the text you have to cover, but you might find something else to talk about as you're exploring; don't let an intro limit you

Intros are structural requirements, so it's important to get them right, but the content of your essay will have greater bearing on the mark. I have heard, however, that by the time an assessor reads your intro, they have already decided on your bandwidth (eg. within B+, B, C+ range) Not that they don't read the whole essays (right, VCAA?? -.- ) but since they're working through piles of hundreds, most are pretty adept at working out the potential of your essay based on your intro. So first impressions count for a lot in English, as do last impressions, but I'll save that for another day..

Hope that helps :)

For context, are you writing in a persuasive, expository or imaginative style?